Mayo Researchers Develop a Profile for Patients at Risk of Pancreatic Cancer – Researchers at Mayo Clinic worked with physicians from the US and Europe to identify factors that put patients at risk of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is rare but it can be deadly because it’s not diagnosed until it’s in later stages, so if doctors can identify risk factors for developing the disease, it might help them to detect it early with biopsies and improve survival rate in these patients, by using appropriate treatment measures.
For the study, researchers gathered data on 1,126 patients in the US and Europe who had been diagnosed with lesions in their pancreas. Of those, the lesions turned cancerous in 84 of these patients. Researchers then identified risk factors and found that the patients had all or some of the risk factors. These include smoking and obesity, and symptoms of jaundice (eyes and skin turn yellow) and steatorrhea or fat droplets in the stool. The fat in the stool indicates that the pancreas is not producing enough of the digestive enzyme.
Other factors include larger cysts, cysts in the pancreatic duct and nodules on the cysts. Abdominal pain did not show up as a risk factor in the study.